Learn About Clearing An Airway In CPR Training

Posted on: 28 June 2023

Receiving formal CPR training will allow you to take charge and help those in need, from the instant that you recognize a problem until the moment that first responders arrive on the scene and take over. There are many integral steps to performing CPR correctly, and your training will provide you with valuable knowledge about how to proceed. One of the early things that you'll need to do when you begin to administer care to an individual is clear their airway. Otherwise, the air that you breathe into their mouth won't make its way to their lungs. Here are three tips that you'll learn in your training.

Reposition The Tongue

One of the risks that affects an individual when they are unconscious is that their tongue slides into a position that blocks their airway. People often refer to this problem as "swallowing the tongue," but this isn't technically correct. The person doesn't swallow their tongue, but its location can interfere with the ability to perform CPR. Your training will teach you how you open the person's mouth and assess the position of their tongue. You'll also learn how to gently reposition it if you deem that it's blocking the airway.

Remove Obstacles

It's possible that the person is unconscious because of choking, which means that a foreign object may be present in their mouth or throat. You should quickly assess the appearance of the mouth to see if you can identify any obstacle that could interfere with your ability to properly administer CPR. In some cases, it may be necessary to insert your finger into the person's mouth and sweep the obstacle aside and out of the mouth. Doing so can be instrumental in ensuring that the person's airway is clear as you start to give them CPR.

Adjust The Head

Another key to clearing a person's airway that you'll learn in your CPR training is to adjust their head. When a person is lying flat on their back, their airway will often be partially closed. CPR classes teach the "head tilt, chin lift" technique, which helps to open the airway. You'll earn how to push back on the person's forehead while also lifting upward beneath their chin. This simple change in the person's head and neck position will open a blocked airway and make your CPR much more effective. Find a local CPR training class to learn all about CPR, including the importance of clearing an airway.